I would prefer if you limited the support to as few distos and platforms as possible, but did it well and frequently. If you try to cover as many as possible, resources will be diluted into a very thin soup.
No. Just fix the root problem - fundamentally wrong approach - and supporting dozens of distros becomes pretty trivial.
I highly doubt that. Rolling your own distro is a *huge* amount of work (been there - done that - and yes: I'm one of those guys who regularily package sw for various distros, build customer/board specific BSPs, developing drivers, etc - for about 20 years). NI folks obviously don't have the resources to package their software for just a single distro. The folks who did the installers obviously don't even got the elementary basics of packaging. And forcing the users to some specific distro - which certainly will be completely undermainted (lack of resources) - will make the situation even worse: extremly limited HW and SW support and extreme security risks (there's a lot one can do miserably wrong w/ that, if you're a rookie like NI folks). The proper solution for a company like NI would be just hire some Linux kernel and distro experts and let them do they job. But this multi-billion company obviously can't afford or two experts.
Maybe the way to solve the Linux distro complexity issue is for NI to create their own Linux distro.
I think this could be a very interesting project, and I have no doubt that NI could put together a distro that would have their own software fully installed and running beautifully.
Actually, the best way would be to cooperate with the packagers from existing distributions, or at least make it legal for them to help out.
Yes. But obviously they reject any idea of cooperation - they don't want our help (tried that).
Actually, the proper solution would be just hire an GNU/Linux expert and let him do his job. But it seems a multi-billion corp. like NI can't afford that.
OTOH, considering the ignorant and arrogant behaviour of this company - and their false marketing claims - over so many years, I doubt that anybody in the community really has any motivation to help them, at least not for free.
Just let evolution do it's job and optimize them away.